Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun

Under Review

ADD: The Mainstream Media Disease

[Note: This is a test of your attention span. If you can't read all of this you may be infected by media-induced ADD. Seek professional help.]


Distracted from distraction by distraction
Filled with fancies and empty of meaning
Tumid apathy with no concentration
Men and bits of paper, whirled by the cold wind

- Eliot, Burnt Norton

The Short Attention Spans of Media Professionals Mean a Hyperactive Headline Glut for You

headtwist.jpg Recently I became acquainted with a young boy, just turned nine. He's a brilliant and happy kid, but he has a problem with cleaning up and organizing his room. It isn't that he can't do it, he simply has to be told about every five minutes to continue the process. In the course of picking things up to put away he discovers anew their potential to fascinate him.

The Gameboy? "Oh, here's where I saved that last stage of Turoc. Let's see if I can get the flame-thrower and..."

Any one of the 3,000 + Lego units? "Gee, I never did get the moon base hemi-dome set up, just let me put these 400 blocks in place and..." Books? "Sure thing and, hey, did Horton ever hatch that egg..."

On it goes until, after the sixth or seventh cajoling instruction, a path has been cleared for the vacuum cleaner. After which, he promptly begins taking everything he has put away out and strews it about the floor once again.

Today's pop psychologists, addlepated educators and the marketing departments of large drug companies are hard at work trying to convince me children who behave like this have "Attention Deficit Disorder" or ADD. But I know enough to know it is the companies who are obsessed, confused and greedy in about that order.

What this young boy suffers from is no more than being a normal, heedless and all around great nine-year-old boy. He doesn't have ADD anymore than I have an elephant chained in my back yard. (Yes, I just checked.)

The only group that I can see in the United States that, as a group, is seriously afflicted with ADD is a group of would-be adults -- the group we call collectively "The Mainstream Media." For members of this group ADD is not an option, it is a requirement. Far from being a means to informing and enlightening the public, the primary role of the MSM is to distract it. At this they are very good since they are "Distracted from distraction by distraction" by their very nature. They are "the ADD professionals." They actually get paid for doing this. Paid well for having a disease.

Let's review....

Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 24, 2012 1:27 AM |  Comments (21)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Building the Perfect Beast: What Is to Be Done in the Blogosphere

The power of reason, the top of the heap.
We're the ones who can kill the things we don't eat .
Sharper than a serpent's tongue,
Tighter than a bongo drum,
Quicker than a one-night stand,
Slicker than a mambo band.
And now the day is come.
Soon he will be released.
Glory hallelujah!
We're building the Perfect Beast .

        -- Don Henley

The Blog is in the Bias

An offhand comment at an online forum I sometimes frequent noted that political blogs, presenting themselves as unbiased in order to criticize the bias of the mainstream media, were actually the most biased form of media around. Blogs biased? Inconceivable! The statement elicited virtual nods all around as if the participant had discovered the spherical nature of the Earth.

This is the sort of statement that always gives me pause. Could it possibly be that an intelligent person, reading through the endless variety of political blogs available, would come to the conclusion that blogs present themselves, as a group, as an unbiased medium? I've read many thousands and I've yet to discover one. To aim a spotlight on bias in the media does not, it seems to me, wrap the handler of the spotlight in the noble robes of balanced fairness. Quite the opposite.

Indeed, the signal strength -- beyond all others -- that blogs bring to the multi-media festival of the 21st century is their clear and present bias. Show me a blog without an easily discernible bias and I'll show you a link farm formed by a Commodore 64 running untended in a basement closet since 1988 on a 300 baud dialup line with a full frontal ASCII interface. An unbiased blog? There is no such animal.

The bias makes the blog. Without bias there is no reason for a blog to exist and, if one does exist, it's readership can be counted on the digits of a one-legged three-toed sloth. The force of the blog flows from its bias.

For good or ill, blogs are a force to be reckoned with on the national and international scene. What remains to be seen is whether or not blogs, as a medium -- or better still "a multi-medium of the multitudes" -- can build upon this position, bootstrapping themselves into ever widening spheres of influence. This is, as is the manner of blogs, already happening on an ad hoc basis. It will continue to happen at an accelerating pace. But it can be accelerated through applications of capital, organization, planning, and most importantly, intent.

CamoCasters of the Airwaves and Newsstands

Before the consolidation of newspapers that took place across the last few decades of the 20th century, a signal strength of print journalism was, taken on a title by title basis, that it was neither fair nor balanced. Instead, these newspapers dealt in a specific bias and looked to readers with similar feelings to seek them out. Pro-union, anti-union; Democrat, Republican, Socialist, Communist -- all these and more made for a heady brew at newsstands in city and town.

Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 26, 2005 8:30 PM |  Comments (15)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Coming Distractions

We regret that our usual prodigious output of free-association and unrestrained blather has been constrained in the last few days. We have been having issues.

Say rather that our hosting service has been having issues with us. Issues that I shall not go into just yet, but will rant upon fully at a later date.

Previous Hosting Situation

Suffice it to say that these issues were enough, when coupled with research into said late host at webmaster boards across the net, to induce me to move the site onto new, improved servers at the hallowed Hosting Matters.

New American Digest Control Room @ Hosting Matters

I'd been toying with this idea for a few months but, overcome by inertia, hadn't really pressed forward on it. Now, with the tireless help of my long suffering friend and web designer, Tom Eberle, the move has been accomplished.

About Tom, more later as well. For now, American Digest is feet dry at Hosting Matters. I must say it feels good.

In the coming week, it will be back to blather as usual here. I've got several items at the half-bake in the background and I hope to be able to put them up soon.

Among them will be:

  • "Blog-Forward:" The Next Steps Already Taken in the Evolution of this Medium.
  • "Evolutionary Creationism:" The Hidden Nexus of Two Opposing Views of the Universe
  • "Waiting for Bartlett:" Remaking the Democratic Party in It's Own Graven Image
  • "Frequently Answered Questions"
  • "Killing Children 'For the Children':" The Dutch Way of Death Coming to a Cultural War Theater Near You Soon
  • "Immigrant Mother:" The Photos Around and the Story Behind Dorthea Lange's Most Famous Depression Photograph [Illustrated]
  • "Ansel Adams, Cub Newspaper Reporter:" The Urban News Photography of America's Most Celebrated Nature Photographer [Illustrated]
  • "While Visions of Rednecks Danced In Their Heads:" Fighting Bad Blue Acid Flashbacks
  • "The Black Freighter:" The American Ship of State in the 21st Century

Plus a few Christmas presents for your all suitable for use in a last minute wrapping frenzy and sure to offend someone on your list.

And... maybe... a regular film reviewer which, lucky for you, will not be me.

For now, however, suffice it to say that spending a week or so moving two hundred megabytes of blog from California to Florida has tuckered me out. I'm taking a break for a few hours.

See you on the flip side.

[If you must, we point out that the Archives tab above now works. So dunk around if you've a mind. All told there are over 4000 entries to choose from.]

Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 1, 2004 9:47 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
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By Mail: Gerard Van der Leun | 6616-D Clark Road #176 | Paradise, CA 95969

Your Shower Is Lame, Your Dishwasher Doesn’t Work, and Your Clothes are Dirty

It’s not just about the showerhead.
The water pressure in our homes and apartments has been gradually getting worse for two decades, thanks to EPA mandates on state and local governments. This has meant that even with a good showerhead, the shower is not as good as it might be. It also means that less water is running through our pipes, causing lines to clog and homes to stink just slightly like the sewer. This problem is much more difficult to fix, especially because plumbers are forbidden by law from hacking your water pressure. | Foundation for Economic Education [HT: Never Yet Melted]

In 2016 the Western political system had a stroke.

The American political system is operating in the curious condition of being an impaired state.
It's not really thinking -- about China, Russia, Syria, Kurdistan. It's not really thinking about anything except half remembered slogans from 1968. Like a person afflicted by a stroke, it can't take a consistent view of external reality because it's regressing into atavisms by a loss of brain function. Impaired

Fake News. At the same time of the political putsch, the mainstream media outlets,

in particular the Washington Post, the New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, and the major networks, via broadcasts and social media, began an orchestrated campaign of defamation and delegitimization.
The crazier and more diverse the media mythologies, the better. Melania Trump was a former call girl and illegal alien. Ivanka Trump was peddling her business wares from the West Wing. Jared Kushner was a profiteering collusionist. Steve Bannon was a racist, Sebastian Gorka an unrepentant Nazi. Baron Trump was a spoiled, autistic child. The late elder Trump had run a racist campaign for mayor. And on and on. Resistance & Regime Change: Any Means Necessary – Lies, Leaks, Violence | National Review

Crime simply does not pay as well as politics or banking.

That may be the way to look at something like the Clinton Foundation and, coming soon, the Obama Foundation.
These are not explicitly criminal organizations, but they certainly play outside the spirit of the laws. Obama is out of office and prohibited from running again, but he still controls the Democratic party. The Clintons would be in charge, if not for the fact that the voters took their under boss out in the Tuesday Night Massacre, otherwise known as the presidential election. Even so, the Clinton Family is still a player. Late Phase Capitalism | The Z Blog

Bodymore, Murderville”

Most whites have become habituated to the reality of life in this part of the world.
Everyone, white and black, knows the reality on the street. The blacks with anything on the ball do exactly like the whites and that’s put distance between themselves and the black ghetto. That does not stop the Progressive maniacs from ranting about racism, but they do it from high up in the towers of their whites-only neighborhoods. As a result, no one hears them and so they can be ignored. The Killing Season | The Z Blog

New Blog Arriving Soon

Some have asked, "Gee whiz, Unca Gerard, where is that thar new blog you keeps a promisin'?"

I am hoping for sometime tonight. Hoping. We've been having some issues getting this winged dinosaur landed.

Drink Tea


Drink tea, together with your friends; pay attention to the tea, and to your friends, and pay attention to your friends paying attention to the tea. Therein lies the meaning of life. The Essence of Peopling

We would love to cut a deal with the noble indigenous peoples across the Earth—

you can have your Navajo panties and aboriginal dot paintings and every last freaking burrito on the planet so long as you give us back our computers and cell phones and cars and indoor plumbing and electricity and air conditioners. Deal?

If people go their separate ways such a divorce would be an astonishing defeat for the Left.

As late as 2016 it was possible to imagine an America led to a "progressive" future by Hillary Clinton;
an EU guiding all of Europe to a similar destiny and the G20 taking the whole world to the same destination. Indeed everyone told they were fated to follow an Arc of History. Yet after Brexit, Trump and G-Zero it is no longer possible to visualize this outcome. A blue-red division would confirm the failure to create a "progressive" world. No conceivable rollback will ever put Humpty Dumpty together again. Opportunity

Trump, Julius Caesar, and killing tyrants

The Roman lower classes, with whom Caesar was popular, became enraged that a small group of aristocrats had sacrificed Caesar. -- neoneocon

Execute Trump? Nah, You First.

Draining the swamp means not only ejecting Trump from the presidency,
but also bringing himself and everyone assisting in his agenda up on charges of treason. They must be convicted (there is little room to doubt their guilt). And then — upon receiving guilty verdicts — they must all be executed under the law. Impeachment Is No Longer Enough; Donald Trump Must Face Justice | HuffPost [Retreived from GoogleCache after it was expunged from the Huffington Post]

A bee in her bonnet


Thousands of bees took over a car in the UK and beekeepers are struggling to make them leave -
At first it wasn't clear why the bees chose the blue Nissan car and he and a colleague were trying to determine whether this was just a temporary stop or a new nesting site. But as the bees moved to the inside of the bonnet, filling every nook and cranny, things got more serious. "They're building a lot of wax in there now, and of course once they start doing that, they're reluctant to leave it, because it's the start of building a house. They put a lot of effort into producing the wax," Coulson told Hull Daily Mail. "I've got a feeling this might be their chosen permanent home."

[Bumped] "They send one of ours to the hospital, we send two of theirs to the morgue."

Baseball Shooter a Big Wake-Up Call for the Left | Roger L. SimonRobespierre is alive and well in 2017 USA.

This pathetic character in Alexandria is, now was, the left's ungoverned id. By any means necessary -- that's for sure. They will undoubtedly try to shove him under the rug as quickly as possible, just one more aberrant individual to be forgotten, just one obscure Bernie volunteer gone bad. Sanders did his best to separate himself within minutes of the revelation. Yes, it's undoubtedly true that this was just one rotten apple, but it's also true that only five years ago Bernie was recommending Venezuela -- now ground zero for starvation, kidnapping and murder -- as a path for us to emulate.

Greatest antitheft device when the thieves are millenials:

Man leads Jeffco deputies on low-speed chase in stolen flatbed truck after unable to get out of 1st gear The driver - later identified as 29-year-old Randy Dewayne Vert - refused to stop and continued driving south on Center Point Parkway, Christian said. Vert was apparently unfamiliar with the complexities of a modern manual transmission.

The natural impulse of a political system in institutional crisis is to dig in.

Too many institutions in the West remain decades after their birth, frozen in the moment of their creation.
NASA, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the university system and the United Nations rule us from the past. Public life has become a museum of memes from which nothing can escape without a mummy hand dragging the fugitive back into the darkened interior. It is perhaps no coincidence the two most popular leaders of the Western left, Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders, might credibly impersonate Boris Karloff. They are here to lead us back to 1968. Stuck

The Japanese. Nuked Too Much... or Trying to Get Their Mouths Around Fujiyama Volcano Plate


We put Japan's most phallic-looking roast beef meal into our mouth at VolcanoKitchen | SoraNews24
Since we’d already become somewhat desensitized to the initially unsettling sensation of peeling strips of meat off the top of the shaft, we mercilessly crushed the egg, sending viscous, gooey liquid running down to the base of the meat rod.

The power of the press is a figment of the imagination -- humbug --

Oscar Diggs behind the curtain projecting the image of Oz the Great and Powerful!
The Internet did not kill the power of the newspapers. It was suicide. And not just because most of them had Marxist editorials, editors, and reporters. Newspapers lost their sense of community -- and their credibility -- when the heirs to hometown publishers didn't want the paper, sold it to a chain for $1,000 per subscriber to a chain -- Gannett, Knight-Ridder, Thomson -- and moved on. Don Surber: Craigslist killed newspapers

When terrorists enter your children’s school and begin to execute them...

will the gun ban (you favored) in school that prevented abiding staff and teachers from saving your child, come to mind as a good idea?
If the answer to any or all of these and many more reasonable questions, is 'yes,' then you may be a delusional liberal, and likely a coward, and almost as big a threat to our nation as the terrorists who are at war with us." - Morgan K. Freeberg

"Happy birthday, Mr. President...."


First truth which has been grounded into dust, must spring forth from the earth again.

At the present time . . .he who practices loving-kindness is esteemed and sought after, while he who champions the truth in word and in deed is persecuted and shunned. 
For men desire to base their affairs on everything except the one incorruptible truth which has been set down before us by God , and therefore these affairs have no permanent value . . . only when love and truth meet together, only when men come to understand that the highest act of loving-kindness is to bring men to know and practice the truth, only then will the marriage of love and truth produce that condition on earth in which everyone and everything will occupy the place which has been assigned to it by the will of God. Truth and Peace - Men Of The West

What happened to Nuclear Winter?


As the media glare faded, its robust scenario appeared less persuasive;
John Maddox, editor of Nature, repeatedly criticized its claims; within a year, Stephen Schneider, one of the leading figures in the climate model, began to speak of "nuclear autumn." It just didn't have the same ring. A final media embarrassment came in 1991, when Carl Sagan predicted on Nightline that Kuwaiti oil fires would produce a nuclear winter effect, causing a "year without a summer," and endangering crops around the world. Sagan stressed this outcome was so likely that "it should affect the war plans." None of it happened. Raconteur Report: Aliens Cause Global Warming by Michael Crichton

If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus.

I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks.
Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. - - Woodpile Report

Joe Biden’s niece dodges jail after $100K credit card scam

She walks on a major felony? Of course she did. And who believes she'll keep her end of the deal? In her defense, we're assured she's "a very complicated girl who has a lot of feelings and a lot of issues." Oh ... okay. That explains everything. Hugs from all the little people. Woodpile Report

Why is English so weirdly different from other languages?

There is exactly one language on Earth whose present tense requires a special ending only in the third‑person singular.
I’m writing in it. I talk, you talk, he/she talk-s – why just that? The present‑tense verbs of a normal language have either no endings or a bunch of different ones (Spanish: hablo, hablas, habla). And try naming another language where you have to slip do into sentences to negate or question something. Do you find that difficult? | Aeon Essays

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